What is your tablet’s role in design work?


I recently tried out a small Android tablet to see if it’d be a valuable addition to my design toolbelt, but didn’t find that to be the case. As a freelance graphic designer, do you have and use a tablet to do your work? Which tablet, and what tasks is it suited for?


Sean Parry • For me the only time I use a tablet is to test how the end product works on the said tablet.

IMHO, tablets are limited as a design tool.
4 days ago•  2
Click to see who  d this comment.

 David
David James • I use iMockups for wireframing, and Sketchbook Pro along with a tablet stylus for sketching out ideas, on a iPad. It’s great for researching too, better than sitting at a desk.
4 days ago•  2

 Matthew
Matthew Noll • I use my IPad for sketching ideas and adding notes to make searching easier. I can save all my ideas and even look through them for other projects.
4 days ago•  1

 Josh
Josh Medeski • I use my iPad for illustration with an app called iDraw. I bought the Mac version as well so I can seamlessly make final touches to the illustration on my Mac. I also   to use the ipad to read design articles :)
2 days ago•  1

 evan
evan austin • Sounds   a lot of idea sketching going on! Do you take your tablet out of the office and do said sketching “in the field”, or is it simply a more direct sketching tool (than a Wacom pad, for example) even if you stay in the office?
2 days ago•

 Christopher
Christopher Rubin de la Borbolla • also, whereabouts are you all sketching? in the club? at the office? by the pool? outside? in this regard, ive found the ipad to be limited insofar as apps + abilities…esp compared to the wacom which works hand-in-hand with adobe cs as well as supports a variety of line styles + pressures.

i mostly use the pads for downtimes + standard thin client work as of now. there are a couple of decent mockup apps + diagraming apps but nothing i’d write home to mom about at this point in time.
2 days ago•  1

 David
David James • Out on the deck by the pool, in the car, that’s the beauty of using the iPad, it’s rather portable.

Considering that the OP bought an Android tablet, there appears to be rather a bias towards Apple in the actual responses, maybe it’s time to sell the Android tablet and buy an iPad Evan?
2 days ago•  1

 evan
evan austin • Hi David, thanks for bringing that up!
I got a relatively small Android tabled for CHEAP, so I figured it a low-risk test of the tablet waters. I got some pretty cool and well-reviewed apps on the thing, but it took several tries to get it to load up completely every time, and it lost the WiFi signal more often than it had it, so I ultimately returned the thing and declared the experiment failed, or at least on hold. The economic barrier to entry for an Apple device is quite a bit higher of course. Didn’t get to prove to myself that a tablet is the next MUST-HAVE design tool, to justify that expense.
2 days ago•

 Christopher
Christopher Rubin de la Borbolla • Personally I’ve had trouble using the iPad or even iPhone by the pool or on the beach or in any direct sunlight. That atop of overheating that tends to occur. @evan_a: b4 throwing in the towel + goin iPad, try a higher end droid alternative or better yet drop some dough on a Mac air with a portable Wacom to boot. To me, tablets are just a glorified thin client at this point unless you are considering an ereader such as the kindle. Much of that may depend upon what yer trying to do as well. For pure hackery, a droid tablet running a clean version of the OS can be a portable armory or fun! 😉
2 days ago•

 Zachary
Zachary Straub • Great post Evan. I just received my Nexus 7 tablet the other week, and am honestly still figuring out how it can best be used, without the device coming off as “a solution in search of a problem”.

From my experience so far, I have been enjoying it as a light-weight, mobile tool that can do anything my phone and computer can do, but I primarily use it for on-the-go research and reading. My Droid Charge served this purpose for a while, but I found the display too small to read and write ideas on for a long period of time (and the battery life is too short), and my laptop is too bulky and obnoxious to carry around, so I’ve found the tablet to be a great medium for jotting or drawing down notes and accessing any kind of research that would help benefit my work, whether online or through my Google Books library.

I’ve found a few apps that tie the tablet into other devices pretty well. For example, I installed Splashtop 2 the other day and now can remotely access my computer through my phone or tablet as long as I have an internet connection, which then means I can control Pandora from the next room or play around in Photoshop from a cafe across town….there are a TON of resources out there in the Play store, just take a weekend and dig around to see what you come across 😉
1 day ago•

 Zaklina
Zaklina Dolidis • hello,
I myself have been thinking about whether or not I should purchase a ipad/tablet. I’ve heard that most students / recently graduated graphic designers carry around their ipads to give them the advantage of showing their folio and design work to a potential client when on the go. I guess this gives them a bit of an advantage on scoring clients.
7 hours ago•

 Charlie
Charlie Mann • I’ve been using my IPad to show designs and concept drawing to clients using the Minimal Folio app. Also if I’m troling through fonts its pretty cool. I still keep all actual work to the desktop and laptops. Good luck .
2 hours ago•